It seems as if every month or so, there's a new atheism symbol. The oldest one I've seen, an "A" inside an atom, looks like an advertising tie-in for a 1940s sci-fi radio serial.
Don't forget kids: If you buy a box of Sugar Jets you can get the exact same decal that Captain Atomic and his Asteroid-Jumpers wear! Ask your mom to iron it onto YOUR shirt today.The bright red Dawk-A would be great — if we wanted people to think we were selling apples.
The newest creation, from Atheist Alliance International, is equally ridiculous. Lots of vjack's commenters were reminded of a stray badge from a Star Trek uniform. Others saw a branding iron, or an @ sign.
Stranger: At what?Now, I don't see why we need a symbol. I'm perfectly capable of using my mouth to tell anyone who asks that I'm an atheist. I'll bet most of my readers are, too. I also don't think we need a secret handshake, a code knock, or a group whistle.
Atheist: At what, what?
Stranger: I like your at pin. I was asking: at what?
Atheist: That's not an at sign.
Stranger: Is it a branding iron? Are you here in town for some kind of cowboy convention?
Atheist: No. It's an A. For atheist.
Stranger: At atheist?
Atheist: No, just plain atheist.
Stranger: You're gonna brand your cattle as atheists?
Atheist: No. It's what I am. I'm an atheist.
Stranger: Well why didn't you just say so. Sheesh. You people are so secretive.
And c'mon, be truthful. If you're the kind of shrinking violet that needs to hide behind a symbol, are you going to be that comfortable answering strangers when they ask you what it means?
But none of my opposition to the symbol silliness stopped me from designing one of my own. I like it because no one seeing it will have any doubts: It says ATHEIST, f'cryinoutloud.
Unfortunately, not being particularly gifted in the artsy way, I'm sorry to say that the image in the center of what was supposed to be a circle is not actually in the center of not actually a circle. And for some mysterious reason, my reds don't match. Also, you might notice that my lines are slightly wobbly.
But my nonbelief is as steady as it ever was. Symbol or not.